A Defense of Transient Presentism

American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3):191 - 212 (2007)
Presentism is a controversial and much discussed position in the metaphysics of time. The position is often glossed as simply the view that everything that exists is present. This gloss, however, does not in itself characterize a single view. In this paper, I first propound the variety of presentist views, characterizing the primary dimensions along which the views differ. I then present the version of presentism I deem optimal. The variety among presentist views is so great that the version that I prefer and shall defend—transient presentism—is not even characterized by the standard gloss given above. I next discuss all of the objections to presentism of which I am aware, considering the relevance of each to transient presentism. I conclude that transient presentism provides the most satisfying responses to the traditional objections and, furthermore, captures very well the motivation for adopting a presentist position in the first place. The grounds for these two conclusions constitute my defense of transient presentism.
Keywords time  temporal reality  presentism  metaphysics of time
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